There are few things I love more than snacks. When easy snacks like chips and popcorn are created in a healthy fashion with recognizable ingredients, I have to try them. As I stroll through the snack aisle at Whole Foods, I tend to lean more towards popcorns than chips. Most of the popcorn on the shelves these days contains just basic sunflower/safflower oil, popcorn and salt. No more and no less – the way it should be. As for the chips, they have tons of complex ingredients that I don’t care for. Along with that, I’d much rather make some baked sweet potato fries than scarf down a bag of BBQ chips. They’ve never appealed to me much anyways.
When I spotted Lesser Evil, I first noticed they’re newer popcorn called Buddha Bowl. This is the first time I had seen popcorn made with coconut oil and my fave: himalayan pink sea salt. Wow okay… yum. I did a little more investigating and realized I HAD seen Lesser Evil’s “Chia Crisps” chips countless times at the store, along with their “Chia Pop” popcorn.
Thanks to Lesser Evil for sending me a huge box of goodies, I was able to try some of the Chia Pop and Chia Crisps. I got way more than expected (which was AWESOME) but unfortunately only sampled two of the five bags I received (due to dairy allergies).
Although I did not dive into the White Cheddar and Classic Theater Style popcorn or the Feta and Black Olive chips, the Southern Barbecue chips and Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper popcorn were pretty deeee-lightful.
I like my popcorn super plain so I can add salt and pepper to my liking. I’ve tried Black Pepper popcorn before by SkinnyPop and although it’s decent, the pepper is quite overpowering. If you’re not a peppery person… watch out. Lesser Evil’s was almost on the same page but not as strong – fortunate.
I poured a bowl and ended up eating the whole thing up super quick. Because the pepper is quite strong, I like to add nutritional yeast (vegan cheese replacement) and toss it around a bit to get a cheesy flavor. This also tones down the extreme pepper party happening. This nice big serving of popcorn delivered 3 grams of protein and 5g of fiber but left me wanting WAY more (which you can consider a good thing). The only downfall this product had I would say was that I did not really see or taste any chia seeds going on or around those kernels… a little odd since they are CHIA pops after all. I would give this flavor 4/5 stars but definitely ranks higher than SkinnyPop’s version.
The second product from Lesser Evil I tried… these beautiful bombs of barbecued goodness. Let me tell you one thing first. I don’t like barbecue chips. Never have and never really will… until my mouth met these babies. The barbecue seasoning was so light unlike your typical Lays chips which are smothered in funky seasonings, making your hands turn all red. The texture of these are quite similar to PopChips but the great thing about these: the first ingredient is black bean powder! So I take it they are primarily made from black beans. Like I said, I’m not a huge chip person but when they contain black beans or brown rice… they definitely are a good idea.
Last wonderful thing about these? There are 22 in a serving and they’re so big. Not one in the bag was cracked or crumbly, all were completely whole. That’s pretty rare for a bag of chips and they were all the same size. Way too perfect but I’m not complaining.
Because like any other American, I like to dip my chips in something whether it is hummus or salsa, I decided to dip one in guacamole to see how it tasted. You might be shaking your head in confusion as to why someone would pair a barbecue chip with avocado but guess what?! IT WAS DELICIOUS. I wanted to smother all of the chips in guacamole and call it a day. 5 stars for these nuggets.
After my two taste testings, my verdict was that the barbecue chips reigned high over the popcorn. Probably due to the fact they had more ingredients (more seasoning) on them so there was more for my palette to notice. However, if we’re talking nutritious values here… I would go with the popcorn. Hopefully I can try the Buddha Bowl in the future because the combo of coconut oil and salt is really calling my name.